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holidays

In holidays, travel on
December 28, 2016

oh christmas tree

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when I read an article a few weeks back about how the biggest tree in canada was at the toronto eaton mall, I knew I had to see it! I had been to the massive mall in the heart of toronto before and they have just about every store you can imagine so I was excited to go again. the tree certainly didn’t disappoint and was probably close to 6 or 7 stories tall! I had seen massive trees before but never indoors and never with so many ornaments! we also looked at the beautiful window displays at hudson’s bay and saks fifth avenue which I thought were every bit as beautiful as the displays on fifth avenue in new york city. we walked around some more and bought some last minute gifts then piled in the car and headed to christmas eve service. tho it was last minute and we had to wake up early, spending christmas eve day in toronto was the highlight of my christmas in canada this year!

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In holidays on
December 27, 2014

happy christmas

happy belated christmas! this year was certainly a good one. it was filled with my favorite things like baking and good food and walks by the beach and presents but best of all, it was filled with spending time with people i love. here are a few snapshots of my wonderful christmas.

//christmas eve//

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{on christmas eve morning, we went on a walk around balboa island}
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{for christmas eve dinner, we went to cucina enoteca at fashion island, which is the new location of one of my favorite restaurants. i didn’t get any good pictures but the snapper i had was superb and i ended up really loving this new location. after dinner, we came home and had dessert and opened a few presents. i made a dark chocolate beet cake which i really regret not photographing but it ended up tasting much better than it sounds. i received the cookbook plenty more and i can’t wait to try some of the recipes!}

//christmas day//
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{christmas morning went from chill and quiet to stressful and crazy real fast. after we woke up, we sat around the tree and started opening presents. i got a lot of clothes, another fjallraven backpack to lug my laptop around school and a beautiful necklace i had been eying, which was a huge surprise because i was convinced the store had sold their last. after present time, my mom and i got down to cooking then we were off to grandmas house}
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{every christmas afternoon, we go to my grandmas house with the rest of our family and have a late lunch together. it was a really warm day so my dad and i walked the dog around the neighborhood before we ate. when it finally was time to eat, we had italian soup, courtesy of my mom, shrimp and grits, courtesy of my aunt and a quinoa apple salad, which i made. after lunch, we had desserts and opened more gifts and chatted around the table}

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In holidays, travel on
December 21, 2014

a white thanksgiving

this year for thanksgiving, I went to my dear friend julia’s parents house in the woods of connecticut. i went here once before for thanksgiving during my freshman year at cedarville and it was a wonderful experience that i’m blessed to have the chance to repeat. we drove 12 hours thru the night the tuesday before thanksgiving because we heard there was going to be a snowstorm in connecticut wednesday morning. literally as soon as we arrived to julia’s, it started to snow and snow and snow. on thursday, we had thanksgiving dinner at julia’s grandparent’s house, which already felt familiar because of my last thanksgiving spent there. we played pictionary and apples to apples and had races to fill out maps of the US and Canada with some of the Canadians we had visiting. after thanksgiving, we had a pretty chill break, filled with homework in coffee shops, watching the original pride and prejudice, baking and candle lit dinners due to power outages. i had a ridiculously large amount of homework to do due to finals week starting right after thanksgiving break but i ended up having a great time of fun and fellowship regardless of my workload. i ended up missing the first monday back because we were driving but God is good and all my teachers moved back our assignments so i didn’t miss anything.

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thanksgiving

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victoria station

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In holidays, lists on
November 27, 2014

thanksgiving thankfulness

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happy thanksgiving people! i’m currently in connecticut enjoying my six day break with my friend julia and her gracious family in the adorable cottage above. as my last post alluded to, this semester has been a whirlwind of craziness so its nice to rest and have some downtime before the final push to the end of the semester. in honor of thanksgiving, here are a few things, great and small, that i am most thankful for

  • my amazing, wonderful, supportive family back home
  • getting into the industrial design school of my dreams
  • the vast array of friends God has gifted me with, from lifelong friends back home in california to my awesome cedarville girlies to relationships i have made on my travels and new friends at college from daap, my sorority, my church groups and everywhere in between
  • my iPhone, for capturing the moments i would otherwise miss and keeping me organized and sane
  • having As on every project thus far
  • the opportunities i have gotten to travel and the many more to come 
  • living in a city with a whole foods and a trader joe’s
  • the immense love for design, art and aesthetics God has blessed me with
  • having a car at school that is my saving grace
  • getting in to such a great sorority
  • discovering quest bars for my days when food is the last thing on my to do list
  • julia and her family, and all the people who have graciously hosted me over the years
  • urban outfitters sale rack
  • finding hidden gems to do homework at like coffee emporium and sidewinder coffee
  • Jesus Christ, for being my Savior and best friend and walking with my every step on this crazy journey we call life
what are you thankful for?
past thanksgiving posts here
In holidays on
April 21, 2014

resurrection day 2014

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easter this year was pretty spectacular! the night before, i made cookies with my roommates then i made flower crowns with some other friends. easter morning, a bunch of us put on our easter best and helped serve at church. i think one of the best compliments i’ve received in a while is that i “looked like the bride of Christ”. i’ve been reading this momentary marriage by john piper with my roommates which talks about how we as the church are the bride of Christ which made the compliment especially sweet. after church, we had a picnic on the top floor of our school’s coffee shop and ate lunch and fellowshipped. a few of us left lunch early to attend evensong at the minster which was such a wonderful experience. the music was heavenly and the sermon was fantastic. i went to dinner at a fancy fish restaurant in town with my friend ingliv then came home and ate our easter chocolate and reflected on this amazing day. but what made this day most special is that it celebrates Jesus’s resurrection from the dead. i am writing a paper on this topic for my apologetics class so it is especially near and dear to my heart this easter. the fact that the Son of God died for my sins then rose again will never cease to blow my mind. i hope this ‘easter state of mind’ won’t just be something i meditate on during easter but the whole year around.

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In holidays on
December 20, 2013

oh but california

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tomorrow, i’m heading home to cali for christmas!! when i first signed up for this program, i didn’t think i would be able to come home at all, which would be so sad because, like 99% of the world, i think christmas is the most wonderful time of the year and i love spending it with my friends and family. but they changed the schedule of the program and now i’ll be home for a few weeks. last christmas was one of the best christmas’s, and even times, of my life so i’m so excited to come home in the middle of this glorious season. for me, everything about christmas screams LA. weird because most people would think los angeles is as unchristmas-y as it gets but treats at joan’s, last minute christmas shopping at the grove, church services at reality, christmas parties with friends, the just-cold-enough-for-a-sweater weather and long car rides listening to christmas music sums up the feeling of this season for me. i love france but let’s be honest: nothing will ever beat home during the holidays. i just feel so blessed that i get the opportunity to come home because i know there are so many that have to spend the holidays away from home, friends and family. thanking Jesus for my many blessings and remembering that above all, He is the reason for this season.

//photo of our tree from last year//
In holidays, travel on
November 28, 2013

thanksgiving thankfulness

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happy thanksgiving everyone! though i didn’t do anything to celebrate today (besides making pumpkin oatmeal for breakfast), saturday i’m having a french/american thanksgiving feast with some people from the church! i’m pretty excited! look forward to lots of pictures coming soon. in the meantime, here are some things i am especially thankful for:

  • my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles… family in general
  • the experience to live in different countries and places {france, new zealand, ohio}
  • my home in california, both literally and figuratively
  • my favorite treats here: lemon macarons at lac, socca, emilie’s cookies
  • and my favorites back home: veggie grill and native foods, sprinkles vegan red velvet, portola coffee
  • my cell phone, laptop, internet, etc…
  • wonderful friends: here, home and everywhere
  • travel and adventuring
  • Christmas being right around the corner
  • good books, inspiring movies and beautiful music
  • rituals like morning coffee and devos before bed
  • my health and the health of those closest to me
  • Jesus, the Gospel, the Bible, God’s love
    what are you thankful for? 
    //photos of fall around nice//
In holidays on
July 4, 2013

happy fourth!

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happy fourth of july to all my fellow americans! after traveling often and living in another country, i’ve learned to appreciate america so much more in random ways i never expected (like lower gas prices and our abundance of health food stores)! we americans sure know how to celebrate holidays with a bang and fourth of july is a perfect example of that! i’m in cambria relaxing with the family for the weekend but have a fun and safe fourth and be sure to light up a few sparklers for me 😉

In food, holidays, recipes on
June 20, 2013

raw vegan cheesecake

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for my birthday a few weeks ago, i made a raw vegan raspberry cheesecake from my favorite food blogger my new roots. yes i made my own birthday cake. i actually insisted because since i’ve been a raw vegan, i haven’t had many opportunities to bake and i was missing it from all the baking i did in new zealand. and the best part is i could actually eat this! so it was a win-win… anyways, though this cake was made with all natural, healthy ingredients, it was better than any cheesecake i’ve ever had. the secret ingredient is soaked cashews which makes it extra creamy without any animal products. so without further adieu, here’s the recipe for this delicious yumminess

raw cashew dreamcake
original recipe found here

Ingredients
Crust:
1/2 cup raw almonds (pecan or walnuts will also work)
1/2 cup soft Medjool dates
¼ tsp. sea salt

Filling:
1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 5 hours, overnight is best
juice of 2 lemons
the seeds of 1 whole vanilla bean
1/3 cup melted raw coconut oil
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 cup raspberries (thaw completely if using frozen)

Directions:
1. Place nuts and dates in a food processor with sea salt and pulse to chop until they are to your desired fineness (process a finer crust longer than a chunky one). Test the crust by spooning out a small amount of mixture and rolling it in your hands. If the ingredients hold together, your crust is perfect. Scoop out crust mixture in a 7” spring-form pan (if you don’t have a spring-form pan, use a pie plate lined with saran wrap), and press firmly, making sure that the edges are well packed and that the base is relatively even throughout. Rinse food processor well.
2. Warm coconut oil and honey in a small saucepan on low heat until liquid. Whisk to combine.
3. In the most powerful food processor / blender you own (you decide which one has the most torque) place all filling ingredients (except raspberries) and blend on high until very smooth (this make take a couple minutes so be patient). If you have a Vita-Mix, absolutely use it.
4. Pour about 2/3 (just eyeball it, you can’t make a mistake!) of the mixture out onto the crust and smooth with a spatula. Add the raspberries to the remaining filling and blend on high until smooth. Pour onto the first layer of filling. Place in freezer until solid.
5. To serve, remove from freezer 30 minutes prior to eating. Run a smooth, sharp knife under hot water and cut into slices. Serve on its own, or with fresh fruit. Store leftovers in the freezer.

bon appetit!

In holidays on
May 13, 2013

mother’s day

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my mom is my best friend and my favorite person ever! really! i’m so blessed to have her in my life! i love this picture right before one of my first ballet shows because it shows both how gorgeous my mom was (she still is!) and how supportive she always has been of me! from dance to school to traveling, my mom is always been behind me 100% and i’m so appreciative of both her support and love! someday, i hope i can be an awesome momma like her!

happy mother’s day mom! 
you’re the best